Moral / Legal Dilemma

dobbin

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jan 28, 2002
587
5
England
My wife bought a CD and I stupidly left it in the CD player of a hire car. :mad:

I can't get it back. :mad:

It was so new I hadn't even imported it into itunes yet. It hadn't even got as far as my house! :mad:

Should I:

a) download it from iTMS and pay for it again
or
b) download an illegal copy

I'm thinking that morally (b) is fine, even though it is still illegal. I still have the box and leaflet which I remembered to take out of the hire car, I just left the actual disk in the car's player.

I have similar issues for old CDs that I know I used to own but simply cannot find anymore. I think if I've paid for them once I shouldn't worry about downloading another copy for free.

What do you think?
 

Sun Baked

macrumors G5
May 19, 2002
14,874
57
This begs the question, I lost a $100 Bill -- should I prints out a new one to replace it?

Unfortunately, the I bought it and lost it routine rarely ever works for getting you out of these situations.

If you lose something, you're generally expected to buy it again.
 

emw

macrumors G4
Aug 2, 2004
11,177
0
If this happened recently, have you tried calling the car company to see if they found it? It may have been turned in to "lost and found."

Otherwise, I'd say you need to buy a fresh copy.
 

MongoTheGeek

macrumors 68040
Speaking of which has anyone seen a copy of "How to Eat Fried Worms?" I lost mine in the back of a rental car.

Houston TX, 1981 if that helps.

About the CD I'm sorry. It happens. Probably what you should do is just buy another copy. They are only $10-$12 now at WallyWorld.

To show that I do practice what I preach I did buy a new copy of the book. I also bought a new copy of The Sims after my son destroyed it taking it to school. I now have a backup copy.
 

apple2991

macrumors 6502
May 20, 2004
419
0
Sun Baked said:
This begs the question, I lost a $100 Bill -- should I prints out a new one to replace it?

Unfortunately, the I bought it and lost it routine rarely ever works for getting you out of these situations.

If you lose something, you're generally expected to buy it again.
Um, yeah, because we use CDs as currency? It isn't relatable because a $100 bill is currency, there same sort of ownership rights don't apply, especially with digital content ownership being the gray area it currently is. But printing more money to replace money you lost is a ridiculous comparison.

But to the original poster: personally, I would download it. However, if you're so very, very concerned about getting prosecuted, you might just want to buy it again. Remember, though, that it is highly, highly unlikely, as in "would only happen in a Douglas Adams book" unlikely that you would be noticed, let alone get in trouble for downloading 10 tracks.
 

wordmunger

macrumors 603
Sep 3, 2003
5,125
2
North Carolina
If you had already ripped the CD you would have had no problem continuing to use the iTunes version, or even burning a copy of the CD to listen to in your car. Therefore I see nothing wrong with downloading the music for free. Just keep the store receipt for when the copyright police come knocking on your door!
 

aloofman

macrumors 68020
Dec 17, 2002
2,206
0
Socal
apple2991 said:
But to the original poster: personally, I would download it. However, if you're so very, very concerned about getting prosecuted, you might just want to buy it again. Remember, though, that it is highly, highly unlikely, as in "would only happen in a Douglas Adams book" unlikely that you would be noticed, let alone get in trouble for downloading 10 tracks.
I agree. As a multimedia content creator, I generally abhore stealing music or other material via downloading. But I've adopted several exceptions that, while still illegal, I consider acceptable:

- songs from albums that I once paid for but no longer possess, including those that were only on cassette, but I didn't shell out more money for the same on CD (I've paid the record labels plenty on this score.)

- bootlegs that are only available for free anyway and can't be bought in a store. These are typically very old bootlegs, not recent stuff. (Led Zeppelin live in '72, etc.)

- songs that I can't find for sale anywhere. This has only happened a couple times, where there were blues albums that are no longer in print and I couldn't find in any used music store, and I inexplicably found online. If I ever do find hard copies, I will buy them on the spot.

Like I said, still illegal. And I haven't downloaded music illegally in a couple years. But IMO these are OK on principle.

I'm sure others will shoot holes in my logic starting.....now.
 

mactastic

macrumors 68040
Apr 24, 2003
3,647
661
Colly-fornia
Indeed, this question needs to be addressed at some point. When we buy a CD, are we buying the disc itself, or are we buying the right to listen to that music whenever and wherever we feel like (within reason, basically as long as you aren't disturbing the peace or making a profit off the music)?

With software it seems to be generally accepted that you aren't buying the disc for any reason other than to get the code onto your HD. Backup copies are allowed, and some software allows you to redownload the code if you have the serial number. Think QuickTime Pro. Or any of the companies that offer trial versions of software that can be activated with a key. If you buy the key and then your drive crashes, you can download the software again rather than buying a new copy of it. You can also have the software on multiple machines as long as you only use one copy at a time.

OTOH, most of us would have no way of proving that we bought a particular CD, which is most important if you want to argue that you bought the rights to the music. I know I don't have any receipts for my music. Well 'cept for the stuff I've bought off iTMS with my credit card. But I also keep all my discs in storage and only listen to burned discs in the car and music off my computer at home.

The opposing argument is that you bought a product that, like most other products, if you lose it unless it was insured somehow you are out the money for your lapse of judgement or bad luck. Music compaines are also more than happy to make another $15 off you for a CD version of those old Pink Floyd albums you have on tape from back in the day.
 

wdlove

macrumors P6
Oct 20, 2002
16,570
0
The first thing that I would have done is to call the car company. There might have been an honest person that would turn in the CD. Those that work for the company should have turned it into lost and found.

If I had lost the CD and it wasn't turned in, then it was my mistake. I would be afraid to download an illegal copy. The moral and right thing to do is to repurchase the CD.
 

jxyama

macrumors 68040
Apr 3, 2003
3,735
1
edesignuk said:
The band (and those bastard record companys) have your money. Just download a "free" copy. Why make a big deal about it? :confused: :rolleyes:
man, that's such a bad answer... :p

i believe you are buying the license to listen to music from the physical CD and legal derivative from that CD (such as ripped files, which is protected under the fair use provision as back ups). though digitally the same, files ripped by others aren't yours and are thus illegal for you to use, no matter what you paid.

"you paid for it once, so who cares?" (at least legally) works as well as saying once you pay for a movie or a concert, you should be able to go back again to watch/attend because you already paid for it.

if you are going to morally justify it and download, just go do it. by posting here, you will get two types of opinions: who cares (like above) and it's illegal and wrong (like me.) - and these threads often get out of hand...

basically, some of us won't justify it for you. if you feel badly yourself, just go buy another copy. if you don't, then who cares what strangers at MR think?
 

dobbin

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jan 28, 2002
587
5
England
OK, firstly answers to the questions:
1. It was "Songs about Jane" by Maroon 5.
2. And yes I did call the company but no they didn't find it.

Jxyama, I guess you're right that people will fall into two camps on this one. I think I already know what I will do, and I just posed the question as a discussion point.

I have no qualms about downloading the music for free (in this case only. I'm usually against illegal downloads). The only reason I would buy it from iTMS would be that its easier and I know all the tracks will be perfect quality. That might be worth £7.99 rather faffing around for an hour to find a decent free copy.

I just wondered whether this situation would change the mind of those who are usually against illegal downloads (like me). After all my wife paid for the CD only a week or so ago, she probably still has the receipt and we still have the box and insert. Who exactly is losing out by me downloading a (free) copy?

Heres another question:
If my wife buys a CD, can I put it on my iPod as well as hers? I doubt there are many couples who buy 2 copies of everything, but legally thats what we should do. Where does this end? Can families share? Can housemates share? What do you think is 'right'?
 

StarbucksSam

macrumors 65816
Nov 21, 2004
1,414
0
Washington, D.C.
It seems there are two sides to this issue.. and both sides have very good points. I see it this way:

You paid for the CD in the first place. Now, you can download it and you have what you paid for, but at the same time, where did that other one go? They got something they didn't pay for. Essentially - legally, you're obligated to PURCHASE a new one, but morally - well.. that's a very gray area. If I had PURCHASED a CD and lost it.. I'd download it. But that's up to you.
 

asif786

macrumors 65816
Jun 17, 2004
1,027
0
London, UK.
dobbin,

firstly - good choice of album. it's a great one, i hope you enjoy it when you eventually get to listen to it :)

secondly - personally, i would download it from itms, because i have this 'issue' with rubish quality downloads - it annoys me. plus i hate not having all the info for a song (composer, date etc) i guess it's up to your personal preference.

in terms of morality - you've paid for it, so sure, you can download it again. i dont really see an issue with it. of course, that's if you dont mind quality issues ;)

/asif
 

jxyama

macrumors 68040
Apr 3, 2003
3,735
1
dobbin said:
I just wondered whether this situation would change the mind of those who are usually against illegal downloads (like me). After all my wife paid for the CD only a week or so ago, she probably still has the receipt and we still have the box and insert. Who exactly is losing out by me downloading a (free) copy?
but the thing is, you lost the CD. it's your fault. why not live up to being responsible for your mistakes, like anything else that's non-replacable (for free) in life - practically everything, that is? (i don't mean to make it sound harsh, by the way. i'm not saying you aren't living up to your own actions. i'm just succinctly posting my thoughts. no offense meant.)

i don't know where to draw the line. but i feel downloading from strangers crosses a line while sharing a disc with your wife or kids does not. for one, there are millions of "strangers" out there you can potentially download from. you only have wife(-ves) or kid(s) on the order of 10, at most to be shared with.
 

pseudobrit

macrumors 68040
Jul 23, 2002
3,418
4
Jobs' Spare Liver Jar
My copy of Radiohead's The Bends got damaged at some point of my owning it.

Track 3, The Bends, skips in perpetuity.

Guess what? I downloaded that track and added it to my iTunes library, then burned a copy of The Bends with the good track.

Oh, no! A moral dilemma! I stole that track!!! WTF? :rolleyes:

Jesus Christ people, it's a CD that he paid for, he's perfectly within reason to want to listen to the music that's on it. If he downloads it off P2P, then just look at it as a case where the person uploading the track has actually not contributed to copyright infringement.
 

pseudobrit

macrumors 68040
Jul 23, 2002
3,418
4
Jobs' Spare Liver Jar
Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go and set fire to all the VHS tapes with stuff I've recorded off the TV (for free, of course, like a cheap thieving bastard). I know I should pay $19.99 for the DVD, so I'm going to torch them all and then my conscience will be clear and I won't end up in Hell or jail.
 

jxyama

macrumors 68040
Apr 3, 2003
3,735
1
pseudobrit said:
Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go and set fire to all the VHS tapes with stuff I've recorded off the TV (for free, of course, like a cheap thieving bastard). I know I should pay $19.99 for the DVD, so I'm going to torch them all and then my conscience will be clear and I won't end up in Hell or jail.
well, vhs recording is specifically allowed. no need to burn them or getting rid of them. if you digitized them and offered them on p2p, then that's a different matter.

on p2p, anyone except the orig. copyright holder (or those with their permission) offering copyrighted material to others is infringing the copyright. downloaders are not in direct copyright infringement but they are helping others violate it.

above are facts. you can make your own moral judgement call on it - i respect that, as long as you hold responsibility for it. (i.e. not crying foul when they actually get busted for doing something illegal.) likewise, i'd appreciate it if you respect the way i see things, which happens to be different from you, instead of just shouting "WTF? :rolleyes: "
 

Sun Baked

macrumors G5
May 19, 2002
14,874
57
jxyama said:
man, that's such a bad answer... :p

...."you paid for it once, so who cares?" (at least legally) works as well as saying once you pay for a movie or a concert, you should be able to go back again to watch/attend because you already paid for it....
That guy in California is going to be spending years in the California penal system because he decided it's OK to burn copies of movies he paid for...

Didn't help that he also decided it's OK to sell the thousands of copies of the movies he saw in the theater to anybody he wanted. :eek:

But they also pointed out that pirates just typically spend the night in jail and are released, with a suspended sentence, when they're caught selling counterfeit music/movies.

So it's not like they'll lock you up for a long time, just place you on the radar as somebody who has downloaded music from people they'd like to shut down.
 

Brize

macrumors 6502a
Jun 13, 2004
732
0
Europe
jxyama said:
well, vhs recording is specifically allowed.
Isn't it the case that you're only allowed to record broadcast material on to VHS/DVD/HDD for time-shifting, rather than archival, purposes?
 

jxyama

macrumors 68040
Apr 3, 2003
3,735
1
Brize said:
Isn't it the case that you're only allowed to record broadcast material on to VHS/DVD/HDD for time-shifting, rather than archival, purposes?
what practical difference does it make, at least for VHS, for which mass sharing is impractical?

i know pay per view falls under something else... but i'm not sure about broadcast material.
 

Brize

macrumors 6502a
Jun 13, 2004
732
0
Europe
jxyama said:
what practical difference does it make, at least for VHS, for which mass sharing is impractical?

i know pay per view falls under something else... but i'm not sure about broadcast material.
I'm not sure about this either, but I would imagine that it's technically legal to watch a recorded broadcast once, having recorded it for time-shifting purposes. If you then archive the material and view it repeatedly, you're probably in breach of copyright.

If this is the case, pseudobrit's original comment stands. Copyright infringement isn't dependent upon sharing or selling the material in question.
 

jxyama

macrumors 68040
Apr 3, 2003
3,735
1
Brize said:
If this is the case, pseudobrit's original comment stands. Copyright infringement isn't dependent upon sharing or selling the material in question.
what? :confused:

copyright means just that - the creater/right holder has the exclusive right to distribute the copies. if anyone else does it (like sharing or selling) without permission, then it's infringement...

by downloading from a non-copyright holder, you are helping someone infringe on the copyright.